March 29, 2006
Apr. 10: Litigator Neil Proto talks about the case that opened the courts to environmental citizen suits
Washington D.C. attorney Neil Thomas Proto has spent 30 years putting teeth, flesh, and blood on the dry bones of the law.
His visit is sponsored by the UO law school’s Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program. ENR Program Manager Heather Brinton said, “If not for this case, ordinary citizens may have had no legal way to voice their objections to the billboards, malls, mines, and theme parks that continually threaten to overtake the historical and natural areas that make up our birthright. And law students — not experienced attorneys — made it happen!”
Neil Proto has spent the rest of his career developing the theme he established in law school – in 1995, he represented, pro bono, an ad hoc committee of authors and historians in their effort to stop the Walt Disney Company from building a theme park in the Virginia Piedmont, a historic area of rolling hills and small farms near both the Manassas Civil War battlefield and the White House. Within a year, Disney had abandoned the project.
Proto is a partner at the international firm of Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP, Washington, D.C. office. The firm is known for its complex litigation track record and pro bono work. He has represented both public and private entities in their legal, cultural and political fights for and against dams, malls, prisons, airports, mining operations and the use of natural resources.